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The start of something extraordinary

State NZ Open Swimming Championships - Day 5 Heats

The major players set themselves up for a tilt at further world championship qualification on the penultimate morning of heats at the State New Zealand Swimming Championships in Auckland this morning.

Olympian Hayley Palmer (North Shore) led qualifiers in the heats of the 100m freestyle in 56.46s, just over a second outside the qualifying mark for the world championships. Palmer faces a strong test with the top six swimmers, led by Tash Hind (Capital) and Lauren Boyle (North Shore), within half a second.

Wellington’s Gareth Kean (Capital) topped qualifiers in the heats of the 200m backstroke in 2:01.72 to be comfortably clear of Kurt Crosland (Neptune) and Ben Gillies (North Shore).

In an all-Canterbury battle, Abbie Johnston (AquaGym) was fastest in heats of the 200m breaststroke from Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) in 2:35.94 while US-based Glenn Snyders (North Shore) impressed with a 2:14.06 effort to lead heats of the 200m breaststroke.

Australian-based Michael Minchum (Waterhole) topped qualifiers in the 1500m freestyle in 15:59.91, just ahead of London Olympian Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (New Plymouth Aquatics) in 16:00.58.

Paralympians Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher will also be looking for further records tonight in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke finals respectively.

The fifth night of finals starts at 6.30pm tonight.

Full results: www.swimmingnz.org.nz